Archive for October, 2018

Guest Column by a Baby-Boomer Feminist


Guest Column by Lightning Star White Fox

Lightning Star White Fox is the pen name of a former high-tech worker, college librarian, and musician, now retired. — JNS

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I have been a feminist for 47 years.

Back then, I joined a women’s group that was involved in taking a hard core look at how gynecologists, predominantly males in those days (there were only male gynecologists where I lived), treated women, who believed they needed husbands to dictate their needs and control them, and from whom women needed their husband’s permission to do anything they may want to do on their own.

In this group we all got speculums and looked at each other’s cervixes, which we were never shown when we were examined by our gynecologists (and, by the way, we still aren’t – my current gynecologist is female and even though she’s a truly wonderful doctor, she has never even offered to show me what my internal female organs look like when she’s examining me).

We were astonished to find that women’s cervixes look like penises and that the difference between male and female biology is that women are innies and men are outies with regard to reproductive organs.

I have experienced several forms of discrimination based solely on the fact that I am female.

When I was first married and was working to support my husband while he was still in college, I applied for a credit card and was told I needed my husband’s permission even though he was completely financially dependent upon me and had absolutely no source of income on his own.

I have been pregnant twice and had abortions scheduled for each pregnancy.

For the first pregnancy, the fetus died a week before the scheduled abortion which could be interpreted to be a naturally occurring miscarriage, and my gyn said he wanted to just go ahead and clean me up, but since I had the abortion scheduled the following week, I said I’d wait and do that instead, which I did.

For the second pregnancy I had begun to bleed about a week or so before the scheduled abortion, and went to see the abortion doctor who asked me if I wanted to keep the baby. He told me if I did, I’d have to stay in bed the entire pregnancy which would have been 8+ months. I told him no, I didn’t want the baby, and I had an abortion scheduled for the following week so he said let’s take care of this now. Whether this could be considered a true abortion since I was beginning to miscarry is a moot point, as was the first terminated pregnancy, as I didn’t have any intention to have children, and consider both times to be intended by me abortions.

And yes, Roe V Wade made this possible. I totally believe a woman owns her body and nobody, no man, no woman, no dimensional being, no alien from another planet, no government entity federal, state or local, no religious entity, has the right to make any decision for a woman about what she does with regard to her pregnancy. It’s totally up to the woman and, if she’s in a relationship, taking into consideration that person, and her doctor. Period!

I find that it took legal action to protect the inherent right of women to be master of their bodies egregious and a sad statement about human beings.

When I was 39 years old I decided to have a tubal ligation as I didn’t want to take the chance of getting pregnant again. The first question I was asked is did I have my husband’s permission in case he wanted to have children. When I told the doctor I was single and I wasn’t in a relationship with anyone and that it was solely my decision, there was an underlying implication and attitude that I must be a hooker to want to have this procedure. I did have the tubal ligation.

When I was in my late 20s, I was driving home from having taken a boyfriend of mine from his visiting me where I lived to where he was going to college in another state. My VW died on the way and it was towed to a truck stop where there was a mechanic who knew something about how to work on VW’s. I was going to need to spend the night so I got a motel room. However, I couldn’t see the motel from the restaurant due to all the semis blocking it. I asked a trucker if he could show me where the motel was and he said he’d walk me to my room.

In those days I was pretty open and trusting so I said ok as he appeared to be an ok guy. I was also smoking pot pretty regularly then (point of reference, gave up doing that 30 years ago). When we got to the room I asked this guy if he’d like to smoke a joint with me since he was so nice to show me where my room was, and invited him into the room.

Inside the room he started making some moves towards having sex, but I was able to talk him out of that and get him out of the room by saying I was really tired and invited him to come back a few hours later. I lucked out! He did come back later and I had all the lights turned off and called the motel desk saying someone was trying to break into my room. They sent a car around and he took off. So I narrowly avoided any kind of an assault or rape, but I surely was ignorant and it could have gone another way.

I remember most everything about this incident relative to what happened and how I felt. I don’t remember the name of the motel and truck stop, though if it’s still there since I do remember exactly where I was I most probably could find it. I don’t remember the exact date though I know the week during which it happened and that it was in the afternoon. My encounter with the person was only a few minutes, and I don’t remember his name, nor what he looked like. I do take full responsibility for what happened and could have happened since I was the one doing the inviting and was appearing, for all intents and purposes, that I was willing by the way I looked and my actions.

So, I well know discrimination against women, and how scared I was just almost being forced to have sex I didn’t want to have simply because I thought I was being nice to someone. That being said, I have a real problem with the #metoo movement.

I saw a tv story shortly after it was formed and women were beginning to accuse men en masse, as well as gay men accusing other gay men, of having been sexually assaulted and raped, about one women in a position of power (I tried to follow up and find her and couldn’t find anything about her and what she said, nor could I find the original tv piece I saw, and I cannot remember her name or what her profession was) who was asked if an accusation was enough to suffice to prove someone had been sexually assaulted or raped. She said yes, that’s all that’s needed. This is simply, clearly, not all that’s needed.

And here’s where I have, as a long-time feminist, a real problem with the attitude and belief that all that’s needed to prove a person was sexually assaulted or raped is an accusation.

I have a friend whose boyfriend at the time was accused by a very good female friend of hers of having been raped by my friend’s boyfriend years before. She had no proof but she was absolutely sure he was the guy who raped her. The truth was he was nowhere near where she said she was raped at the time that happened, and that could be proven as he was with somebody who could corroborate that.

Additionally, after the time he was accused of having raped her, he’d been in a horrific fire and had been burned badly on a good deal of his body, which required lots of reconstructive surgery leaving him not looking anything at all the way he looked before the fire when this rape took place. The person my friend’s friend said raped her looked to her like my friend’s boyfriend after he’d been through reconstructive surgery and not the way he looked at all before the fire. So, there was absolutely no way this man could have been the one who raped her as he didn’t at all fit the description of the man who did when it happened. And obviously, my friend’s boyfriend did deny he was involved.

But all that still didn’t convince that woman he wasn’t the person who raped her.

I totally believe Christine Blasey Ford was assaulted and it completely traumatized her. However, not even her best friend, who she said went to the party with her, could provide any corroboration of the party, or of even knowing Kavanaugh.

There’s no one who remembers a party at a house of that description, nor where it took place, nor when or that it took place.

No one has come forth to give an address of the house.

No one has come forth to say they remembered driving her to the party.

No one has come forth to say they remember driving her home from the party.

No one remembers seeing her at a party in a house of the description she provided.

No one remembers that Kavanaugh went to a party of that description.

Why?

Was there a group of nefarious people who found everyone who could corroborate her story and paid them off to lie under penalty of grave personal consequences to say that there was no such party and her story is a complete fabrication with regard to Kavanaugh? How come there is absolutely no one who will say they remember anything remotely like what she’s described happened to her?

To my way of thinking, that is innocent until proven guilty. Even if Kavanaugh is guilty and was lying to congress, there’s no proof. That is our legal system based on people’s rights as per our Constitution.

That is why murderers, and thieves, and rapists, and terrorists end up going free when there is not enough proof to convict them or even sometimes to charge them with a crime.

Whether or not Kavanaugh is truly the perp who sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, there’s nothing that can be done about that without any proof. And that 36 years have passed makes her testimony with regard to remembering it was specifically and without a doubt Kavanaugh who assaulted her not being able to provide any proof is the great difficulty.

This has nothing to do with preventing women who have been sexually assaulted and raped from speaking out and making sure such criminal acts are dealt with appropriately and making sure those perpetrators and violators are convicted and sent to prison (although, my personal feeling is prison does no good – they should be castrated, medicated to keep them docile, and forced to be a slave to the person they harmed for the rest of their lives – to hell with their “rights” – they lost them when they violated another human being).

Additionally, and this is my personal perspective, at 15 years old, which means being in 9th or 10th grade, what was Christine Blasey doing going to a private party with senior high school boys, where there was no adult supervision, where she was drinking, even if only one beer, which was illegal at her age, where she was clandestinely taken by someone and clandestinely driven home by someone?

Even if nothing had happened to her, her parents finding out she’d been out drinking with senior boys, or confiding in a friend who might have spilled the beans so her parents might have found out, would have minimally gotten her grounded if not a good whipping. No doubt she was afraid to reveal where she’d been and what she’d been doing to anyone, irrespective if something horrible happened to her. I know that if I had done something like that at age 15 and my parents found out, I’d have been grounded until I had graduated high school, graduated college, been married and had children. A 15 year old female going to a party with older boys where there is drinking is risky business.

Also, what is someone who is teaching psychology doing carrying around traumatic baggage without having found some way to deal with it and heal after 36 years?

I am not implying being sexually assaulted is to be tossed off lightly, nor that women should not be allowed to name those who have harmed them immeasurably and shut-the-fuck-up and remain silent and in pain, nor that traumatic experiences aren’t to be treated with the utmost tenderness and respect.

I am saying that we each are responsible to ourselves to not allow some motherfucking-piece-of-shit to steal our power and ruin our lives. Fuck them!

We are responsible to find ways to free ourselves from being slaves to those who have harmed us. Take that trauma and use its energy to throw it back at them. Holding on to the trauma and pointing fingers outside to continually blame others for what has happened in our lives and claiming continuing victimhood disempowers us.

A person who truly wants to empower women wouldn’t advise women to continue to remain victims, whining and moaning and blaming and being afraid. That is where there is the true violation because it entraps us, immobilizes us and keeps us in an endless loop of being traumatized. How does that help healing? How does this empower women? Continuing to be angry and enraged and bathing in hurt makes healing impossible.

Not taking personal responsibility for our actions and knowing that there is always interaction between people, and that a person, on some level, even if innocently, can put themselves in a position where they can be harmed, is throwing your power away.

A couple of generic examples:

While rape or sexual assault is never excusable for any reason, a woman who wears a low-cut, tight, very short dress and goes to a bar letting men buy drinks for her, and then leaves the bar and starts walking down a dark alley is not asking to be raped, but she surely is not thinking clearly about her safety and is putting herself in a very precarious position.

Someone drunk and driving isn’t looking to have an accident, but surely is putting themselves and others at risk. We have to think about what we’re doing, and take what part of the ultimate consequences is our responsibility vs what part is the other’s responsibility.

I’m for self-determined, empowerment of both men and women. People who have been harmed by others do have an inherent right to speak out, female and male. But blaming and shaming and holding on to baggage that ends up destroying a life, and being told and persuaded that this is the way through to personal victory and being free does not accomplish that freedom. It’s the exact opposite. It makes someone weak and vulnerable to further damage.

I see the #metoo movement as DISempowering women because it misdirects those attempting to create a true voice of power. It has gotten to the point of the boy who cried wolf and it’s beginning to backfire.

I’m for women’s rights and men’s rights and treating all beings and the earth with respect and honor. The radical feminists who blame and in the past blamed men for all their problems aren’t any better than the patriarchal attitude that has been in the forefront for hundreds of years.

Until we human beings realize it takes a unity and coming together of men and women, and disparate belief systems that put people at odds, finding ways to understand each other even when we have great disagreements, instead of blaming, pointing fingers, he said-she said, and letting accusations condemn and convict without proof, we are heading towards disaster, not only of all of our rights in the U.S., but planet-wide.

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The FBI and Christine Blasey Ford

Fiat Justitia
Google Translation:
“Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

Does anybody actually care about the truth of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation that as a teenager President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh drunkenly assaulted her?

Democrats don’t. They were out opposing the nomination within minutes of the announcement. They have a fantasy that Kavanaugh would be the swing vote to overturn Roe v Wade.

Republicans don’t. The pro-lifers have a fantasy that Kavanaugh would be the swing vote to overturn Roe v Wade.

The #MeToo activists don’t. To them Brett Kavanaugh is an entitled male whom they see as a symbol for male domination and violence.

I’m a libertarian. I’m pro-choice. I’m opposed to how Brett Kavanaugh eviscerates the Fourth Amendment protections of privacy in his rulings allowing the government to collect personal information on private citizens.

I watched his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in which he made it clear that as a judge he ruled according to the text of the Constitution, of written law, and of legal precedent. The man thinks like a clerk, a bureaucrat. The idea that he’s some sort of incendiary judicial revolutionary that if he’s seated on the Supreme Court will vote to overturn apple carts is ludicrous.

But Democrats, liberals, progressives, feminists, all want the Kavanaugh nomination stopped, if for no other reason than that his nomination came from their nemesis, President Donald J. Trump. So if a scandal needed to be cooked up to stop him — “Borking,” it’s called — that’s D.C. business as usual.

Me, I’m a libertarian, and one of my mentors, Murray Rothbard, wrote that above all libertarianism requires “a passion for justice.”

That passion long ago infected me and I’ve never been cured of it, thank God.

Libertarian and anarchist friends of mine don’t care about the truth or falsity of the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh that Christine Blasey Ford has testified to in subsequent Senate hearings because Kavanaugh is a statist — so whatever happens to him, he has it coming.

That attitude is how over 15,000 people were murdered in what historians record as the Reign of Terror in the 1790’s French Revolution. They “had it coming,” too.

I believe in truth, justice, and the American way, just like my first childhood hero, Superman.

I found Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony emotionally authentic.

I found Brett Kavanaugh’s rebuttal testimony later the same day just as emotionally authentic.

Only one of them can be telling the truth.

Senator Jeff Flake was convinced to go along with his Democratic colleagues’ demand for a further FBI investigation. I’ll leave it to cable-news talking heads to debate the politics of this.

Given the history of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover — and latter controversies about how the FBI labs’ pseudoscience about fibers have put many innocent individuals behind bars — I’m not sanguine about the FBI as a fully competent investigative service.

But “investigation” is in their name so let’s put them to work investigating the charges Christine Blasey Ford has made against Brett Kavanaugh.

To start off, Christine Blasey Ford has testified that she knew and socialized with Brett Kavanaugh while both went to separate high schools, so she knew that it was him who assaulted her.

Let’s test that the way police always have: a line up. Now, this allegation dates back to 1982 when Brett Kavanaugh was 17 and Christine Blasey was 15. A line up is no longer possible.

But when a physical line-up isn’t practical police have relied on a photographic equivalent: asking the witness to make their identification of the accused by picking the suspect out of a stack — or array — of photographs.

There are landmines to test for familiarity of the witness from other encounters. Sometimes photographs of police, or models, made to look similar to the suspect, are used.

There’s a scene in the classic movie The Manchurian Candidate where the brainwashed Major Marco (Frank Sinatra) is shown a series of slides containing the communist scientists and political operatives who could have brainwashed him — mixed in with a bunch of slides of decoys. Marco is able correctly to pick out the genuine commie scientists and political operatives.

Let professionals in the field of photo identification put together just such a photo array to test Christine Blasey Ford’s “100 percent certainty” that her attacker was Brett Kavanaugh.

There are gaps in Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony and her prior interview with the Washington Post.

She can’t remember an address for the house this attack took place, nor a date. She can’t remember how she got to and from the party. I don’t actually have a problem with memory lapses such as this.

But I do have a problem with Christine Blasey Ford testifying that music was already playing when she was pushed into the bedroom, and that either Kavanaugh or Judge turned the volume up. If the two boys were already in the bedroom with music playing, why? Wouldn’t there have had to be someone else in the bedroom that the music was for? Or is she suggesting that these two totally-drunk-out-of-their-minds teenagers were sober enough to plan a rape that they were incapable of executing?

And what was the music playing during the assault? I guarantee you that this song would be burned into her memory by the trauma and she’d be so freaked out by the association she’d react to it every time she heard it forever after.

Christine Blasey Ford says she went to the second floor of this house seeking a bathroom. That implies a full bladder, perhaps from the beer she remembers drinking.

She then testifies that before she reached a bathroom she was pulled into a bedroom, tossed onto her back on a bed, and that Brett Kavanaugh threw himself on top of her, crushing her, and holding his hand over her mouth when she tried to call for help. She says she was afraid he might accidentally kill her.

So why doesn’t she testify to having wet her clothes and the bed? That would have been compelling detail. I wet my long underwear on a Boy Scout camp-out called Operation Zero, sleeping alone in a tent in the dead of winter. It was so humiliating it was the end of scouting for me. It’s the sort of detail it would be impossible to forget.

It’s been pointed out to me that she talks about Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge locking the bedroom door.

But she doesn’t mention unlocking the door when she manages to escape the bedroom to a bathroom across the hall — where once again she testifies to hiding but not relieving herself.

Then she testifies to running out of the house and feeling safe once she’s outside that she’s escaped and that Kavanaugh and Judge haven’t followed her.

But she never tells us why she feels safe just because she’s outside the house. How did she get outside without her attackers seeing her and why couldn’t they follow her outside?

I’m not calling Christine Blasey Ford a liar. I’m just saying that before anyone is judged guilty of anything, the testimony needs to be comprehensive and with certainty not only about the who, but certainty about the where, the when, and particularly the what.

There’s an FBI investigation?

Let them investigate this.

Washington Post Article

Video of Christine Blasey Ford’s Opening Statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee

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